However, I feel her experience contains an important message (lesson) for leaders. If you’re not familiar with what happened, Ms. McHenry was caught on video delivering a vicious personal attack on another human being who was just trying to do her job.
The fallout was one week suspension while the company leadership decided what to do with her. Read and see more here.
Public sentiment favored permanent dismissal. Many co-workers privately felt the personal attack was not forgivable and felt she should be let go. Regardless, she was reinstated after apologizing.
If you were her boss what would you have done? Reinstate or terminate?
I’ve been there before so I know what I would have done … terminate!
I’m all for giving people second chances, I know along the way, I’ve been given a second chance or two in my career and life.
However, I make the decision to terminate based on the importance of preserving the credibility of the organizations values. As the leader, you absolutely must maintain solid alignment between the organizations values and the values of the individuals on your team.
Unwavering character is the foundation of all values protected by most organizations. Treating people with dignity and respect is another. ESPN owned by Disney, I thought would embrace these.
My leadership tip for you this week is to encourage you to consider your organizations stated values when making decisions. Be certain your decisions align with your values. If not, the values will become less meaningful over time and your credibility as a leader will take a big hit.
I know through experience that there are many factors to consider when making a decision, so you do need to be careful. Also from experience, I know these three principles to be true:
#1. You either have integrity or you don’t – integrity is not a trait you can turn on or turn off.
#2. It’s important to apologize for your mistakes, but not because you got caught – see #1 above.
#3. On occasion, it takes courage to do the right thing.
Protect your organizations values and your credibility … make the tough but correct decisions.